May 26, 2013
WALKING IN THEIR SHOES
Linda M. Penn
When I taught Practical Living lessons in elementary school, one of the lessons was about having compassion for others. I asked students to try to picture what it would be like to be someone else. I passed around shoes or boots. Example: dirty cowboy boots, snow boots, flip-flops, dressy high heeled shoes, worn athletic shoes, faded work boots, etc. We discussed: What type of person might be wearing these shoes? How might they feel? Would you want to be wearing these shoes?
I bring this to your attention, because this week there were two stories in the news that have left a huge impression on me and I wondered if you were affected also.
The first news story was the Oklahoma tornado outbreak. What would it have been like to be in the shoes of those elementary teachers who faced a tornado bearing down on their schools? Do you think they shielded kids with their own bodies because it was in their job descriptions? Did their curriculum standards call for them to do this? When is the last time you were called upon to lay down your life for another?
My students and I practiced many tornado and emergency drills, but I never was called upon to shield them. I don’t think I would have flinched, however, in a real emergency, opting to do whatever necessary to keep as many kids safe as possible. That’s just what a “teacher” does. Wait a minute, isn’t a “teacher” supposed to follow curriculum standards, plan lessons, and “teach” kids?
This past week’s weather events and other events this year like the Sandy Hook Elementary gun violence deaths have shown teachers don’t just “teach.” They are true life savers and in some cases, give their lives for their students.
Let’s think about walking in the shoes of teachers today. Would you want to be in their shoes? Let’s all thank a teacher today!
I mentioned there were two events in the news this week that struck me. I will discuss the second event in my next monthly Blog.
Copyright 2013 Linda M. Penn, All Rights Reserved